Indiana hardwoods, such as black walnut, red and white oak, and other valuable species are sought by the timber industry. Landowners should follow some simple steps before signing a contract with a timber buyer.
“Some Indiana landowners are taken advantage of every year, and they lose money and resources because they are not aware of the value of timber or the steps needed to protect themselves,” said Duane McCoy, timber licensing forester with the DNR Forestry.
To protect forestry resources, landowners should follow these steps:
- Hire a consultant forester to represent you and mark and advertise your timber sale.
- Always get several bids from different timber buyers.
- Ask questions and get references from the timber buyer.
- Mark the trees to be cut with a paint mark on the stem and at ground level.
- Know and understand the fine details of the contract.
- Never make an oral agreement.
- Know how much you will be paid and the method of payment.
- Be a good neighbor and work out any property line disputes prior to harvesting.
“Marketing the mature timber from a family property is generally something that will only occur once in a person’s lifetime, and it must be done with knowledge that protects the interest of your investment,” said Lt. Tony Stoll, DNR Law Enforcement District 9 commander.
The DNR offers a free information packet titled “callb4ucut” to Indiana citizens considering harvesting their timber. See www.callb4ucut.com for further information.